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Farmers urged to adopt modern technology

April 28, 2016, 8:51 a.m.

The National Farmers and Fishers Award Winners Association of Ghana (NFFAWA) has encouraged Nucleus farmers in the savannah ecological zones to adapt modern farming technology to improve their agribusiness.

This, they said, will help produce quality high yields of farm products to enhance food security and meet demands of the populace, which will curb the importation of similar products into the country.

It will also help the farmers improve on their livelihoods as well as generate income to expand their businesses.

This came to light at a three-day farmer’s capacity building workshop for farmers and input dealers in the Northern Region, organised by the NFFAWA in collaboration with the Ghana Commercial Agricultural Project (GCAP) and aimed at educating nucleus farmers on the need to improve farming methods to prevent bad farming practices and post-harvest losses.

It is also geared toward building the capacity and enhancing the knowledge of nucleus farmers on the agricultural value chain, total quality standards, agribusiness financing, and marketing as well as social and environmental safety.

About 300 nucleus farmers, input dealers and other actors were brought together to share ideas, link up, and as well find solutions to enhance agricultural production, which is the fourth-highest earner of the nation’s income.

Speaking at the event, the Zonal Coordinator/Senior Rural Infrastructure Engineer of GCAP, Mr. Bloomfield C. Attipoe, said agriculture is one of the major areas that needs more funds to encourage youths to help produce more to feed the nation -- but lack of funds for farmers has been discouraging all but a few from going into the area of agriculture.

According to him, the commercialisation of agriculture has got more to do with a change of mindset and the application of business principles to make the best productive use of farm land.

This, he said, will enable farmers to increase yields so as to meet the population’s demands.

“When the smallholder farmers start thinking and acting like commercial farmers, the whole nucleus-outgrowers’ model will change the face of agriculture,” he said.

He noted that the training will also build the nucleus farmers’ capacity to inculcate the spirit of bookkeeping, accounting, finance, quality standards, environmental and social safeguards, as well as marketing which will enhance their operation.

He therefore encouraged farmers to take the training seriously, since they will become the trainers and change agents that are needed in the agricultural sector to boost the industry.

The Chairman of NFFAWA, Mr. Davies Korboe, said the agricultural sector is bedevilled with myriads of challenges that have discouraged lots of people from the sector to migrate south looking for non-existent jobs -- due to lack of support that would enable the farmers to access the necessary funds and logistics to do their business.

He added that the inability of farmers to produce the quantity needed in the country compels government to spend huge amounts of money importing similar products to meet the citizens’ demands.

He stressed the training will remedy bad farming practices and other challenges which hampers production in the farming communities, and that the workshop’s aims will only be achieved if the participants practice the knowledge acquired.

Source: B&FT

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this news report do not necessarily reflect the position of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC)

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